How Match of the Day makes a difference for SEN pupils

The BBC has a batch of great reports from its School Report project – this is one of my favourites from pundit and ex player Kevin Kilbane on the use of Match of the Day to develop communication skills in one school…

Working with Sam and Ben for BBC News School Report was a brilliant experience for me – one of the best days of filming I’ve ever done.

Ben and Sam, who have cerebral palsy, are students at The Lancasterian School in Manchester and they are using Match of the Day and football commentary to help develop their communication skills.

Sam uses a communication aid, but he’d started to dislike using it at school – but he loves talking about football!

The first thing that struck me was that they knew so much about football – more than me, probably, which was making me laugh. They really had amazing knowledge and passion for the sport from this season and days gone by.

Sam’s a Man Utd fan and Ben supports Man City but they reeled off virtually the whole West Ham squad! The fact they could use their passion for football to help improve other parts of their education and development was just so great to see and to play a small part in.

They were quite cheeky and ribbed me about not knowing my left from my right when I made a mistake during the filming! The experience really allowed for their character to come out as individuals. They were so keen to learn and put so much into the day.

For me, as a parent of a daughter with special needs, it was fantastic to go into their school environment and see how they’re using the equipment to learn and improve their communication skills. It’s not every day you get to go into a school where they are using the programme you work on to help students learn and develop…

More (including a great video) at: How Match of the Day makes a difference for SEN pupils


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